The root of agriculture's future?
Recent decades have seen a monumental shift in the amount of research in plant roots.
A stronger understanding of the complex ways roots interact with soils in making it possible to ‘design’ roots to optimise water and nutrient uptake in low-input environments, as well as deliver other benefits such as improved soil health and reduced nutrient leaching.
As an example, a team of scientists from the University of Nottingham, UK have uncovered the way ethylene controls plant root responses to compacted soils, showing how this signal can be ‘switched off’ to facilitate plant growth in unfavourable growing conditions.
Understanding crop roots in their entirely can contribute to improving global food security, as well as the implementation of more sustainable farming practices across the sector.